Swimming against the crowd

Thinking Quotes to Inspire & Help Think Outside the Box

The expression ‘think outside the box’ is a mantra frequently quoted, especially in business meetings. Its intention is to encourage creativity, innovation, and imaginative thinking.

However, in most cases the phrase is meaningless and instead becomes a rather misleading cliché…

Firstly, you need not only to understand ‘the box’ concept but also its relationship to personal comfort zones. Critical thinking may be interpreted as criticism and people then react by building defensive barriers. Therefore, to think outside the box for a positive outcome is quite a leap of faith.

Our Critical Thinking and Think Outside The Box quotes and proverbs are sorted chronologically by the originator’s birth year and will hopefully inspire and motivate you to improve your thinking. Enjoy!

What we think, we become.
Gautama Buddha

(ca. 500/400 BC, sage whose teachings founded Buddhism)

Thinking quotes: The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same - Stendhal

It is the mark
of an educated mind
to be able
to entertain a thought
without accepting it.


(384 – 322 BC, Greek philosopher)

Our minds are lazier
than our bodies.

François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

(1613 – 1680, French author of maxims and memoirs)

Think for yourselves
and let others
enjoy the privilege
to do so, too.

Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet

(1694 – 1778, French writer, historian and philosopher)

Doubt is not
a pleasant state of mind,
but certainty is absurd.

Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet

(1694 – 1778, French writer, historian and philosopher)

There are very many people
who read simply
to prevent themselves
from thinking.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

(1742 – 1799, German scientist, satirist, and Anglophile)

Group of people talking on the telephoneEvery head must do its own thinking.
African Proverb

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